Frequently Asked Questions

Masters Degree in Computer Networks

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, College of Science

1. What are the requirements for admission?

Applicants are required to have a B.S. degree from an accredited 4 year institution.  Official transcripts must be sent.  Typical applicants have degrees in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering.  Your GPA must be a minimum of 2.75/4.0 overall with 3.0/4.0 in major coursework.  Applicants are required to submit GRE general exam scores. 

2. What are the program requirements?


The following departmental requirements are in addition to the university requirements.

  1. Required Courses (12 units)
    CS 6560 Operating System Design (4)
    CS 6580 Distributed Systems (4)
    CS 6591 Communications Network Analysis and Design (4)
  2. Breadth Requirement (16 units)
    Four courses selected from the following:
    CS 4594 Broadband Networks and Communications (4)
    CS 6320 Software Engineering of Web-Based Systems (4)
    CS 6522 Advanced WWW Software Development (4)
    CS 6525 Network Security (4)
    CS 6592 Network Management (4)
    CS 6596 Wireless and Mobile Networking Architecture (4)
    CS 6715 Data Compression (4)

Note: Some of the breadth requirement courses contain prerequisites that are not included in the program admission requirements.

  1. Capstone Experience (5 units)
    CS 6899 Project (5)

The capstone experience consists of a project, normally involving a team of students, and an individual formal document from each student. Projects must be approved by a designated faculty committee and sponsored by a faculty advisor.

  1. Electives (12 units)
    Any graduate course in Computer Science may be applied to this category. Any Computer Science course numbered 3000 (except 3898) or higher, provided it has not been already applied toward a B.S. degree or toward prerequisites for admission. This restriction includes equivalent courses from other degree programs; exceptions require the approval of the Computer Networks Graduate Committee.
  2. Unit and Grade Requirements
    At least 45 quarter units of approved upper division and graduate work. Of these, at least 26 units must be approved graduate (6000-level) courses. All work toward the 45 units must be at an average grade of "B" (3.0) or higher. Grades below "C-" will not be counted as prerequisites or toward the degree.

3. Are there any University requirements?

Yes, all students who receive a degree from CSU East Bay must demonstrate writing competency by passing the Writing Skills Test.  A student cannot be advanced to candidacy and graduate until after this test is passed.  Students should take this test as soon as possible after entering the university.   If you have passed this exam at another CSU campus then you are not required to retake the exam.

4. What is a satisfactory GRE score?

Average scores vary from year to year.  Potential students should score above the 20th percentile in the verbal section and abovethe 60th percentile in the quantitative section.

5. What about prerequisite courses?

The following are prerequisite courses to the program. This means that applicants should have taken these courses during their undergraduate studies. Prerequisite course units will not be counted towards a graduate degree

CS 3240 - Data Structures and Algorithms
CS 3430 - Computer Architecture
CS 3590 - Data Communications and Computer Networking
CS 4590 - Computer Networking
CS 4560 - Operating Systems or CS 3560 - Systems Programming
STAT 3601 - Statistics or equivalent

Please note that these courses also have prerequisites which must be followed. The prerequisites for CS 3240 are: MATH 2150 (Discrete Structures), CS 2360 (Programming Methods and Introduction to Software Engineering), and CS 2430 (Computer Organization and Assembly Language). The prerequisites for CS 3430 are: MATH 2150 and CS 2340. The prerequisites for CS 3590 are CS 3430 and knowledge of C or C++.

6. Can I still apply even if I haven’t taken the prerequisite courses?

Yes, students can be admitted prior to taking all the prerequisite courses.  Note that these students will be considered “conditionally classified students”   until the prerequisite courses are completed. Prerequisite course units will not be counted towards the graduate degree. It is best to complete any prerequisites courses as soon as possible. Students who are “conditionally classified” may take a maximum of 20 units of graduate courses that count towards their M.S. degree prior to finishing their prerequisite courses. 

7. How can I obtain “classified status” if I am currently “conditionally classified?”

If a student has taken the required prerequisite courses and any other deficiency courses listed on her letter of acceptance, and the student has a “B” average or better in at least 12 quarter units of graduate study at CSUEB, and has passed the University Writing Skills requirement, she may petition the graduate coordinator for “classified status.”  The form for petitioning can be obtained from the Math/Computer Science Department.  After filling out the form, bring it back to the department office for filing.

8. How many units total need to be completed for this degree?

There are 45 units required for the MS Computer Networks degree.  Typically each course is four units.  A breakdown of the units per course category is as follows:

12 units of Required courses
16 units of Breadth courses
12 units of Elective courses
  5 units for the Capstone Experience

9. Is it possible to substitute courses for those listed in the program?

There are no substitutions for the Required courses, however, in some cases, alternative courses may be substituted for those in the Breadth category.  In general, only courses numbered 6000 and above may be used as substitutions. All substitutions require approval by a graduate coordinator.

10. What is the Capstone Experience?

The Capstone Experience is designed to give students the opportunity to do an original project and report in the are of computer networks.  The Capstone Experience is a course, CS 6899, which is offered once per year during Winter quarter.   It is organized as a seminar course designed to guide the development of the Capstone Project, which will be summarized in a formal “thesis” style written report and oral presentation.   The prerequisite to this course is advancement to candidacy.

Students register for this course with a Special Registration Petition available in the Math/ Computer Science Student Service Center located in North Science 337, (510) 885-4011.  A graduate coordinator must sign the form to enroll the student.

Students may also take the Capstone course as an independent study if a professor is willing and able to guide the student's work.  Students should speak to a professor first, then register for the course with a Special Registration Petition.   A project proposal must be attached to Special Registration Petition, and the professor and graduate coordinator must sign the form.

11. What does advancement to candidacy entail?

Advancement to candidacy is a university requirement for graduation and is also a prerequisite for the Capstone Experience.  To be advanced to candidacy a student must have:

  • Passed the Writing Skills Test
  • Complete at least 16 quarter units towards the degree.  These units must include at least two of the core courses of the program and the grades for these courses must be “B” or better

12. What is “thesis” style format?

The Capstone project is meant to be a large programming/research project.  It typically involves formal specifications, software design, testing, and evaluation.  The project paper is meant to be a formal description of the project.  Students must present their work at the end of the Capstone Course.  An example outline for the paper is as follows:

Title page
Acknowledgments (optional)
Table of contents
Table of figures
Background/ Related Work
Testing / Results
Analysis of Results and Future Work

13. Who is the graduate coordinator?

Dr. Leann Christianson
S Sci 429 B

14. Can I obtain transfer credit for courses I have taken elsewhere?

Possibly, students who wish to petition for graduate credit for courses taken while enrolled in a graduate program at an accredited institution should see the graduate coordinator.  Students should bring syllabi, course descriptions, and transcripts of all courses they are submitting for transfer credit review.  A maximum of thirteen (13) quarter units taken as a graduate student at another university are transferable.

15. Is there financial aid available?

There is minimal financial aid available. Graduate students are encouraged to apply for positions as teaching assistants, lab, and sysadmin helpers. Some professors may have grant funds for hiring researchers. Please also see for financial aid options.

16. How can I get an application?

  • There are two steps to apply for admission to a graduate program.
    1. Submit an application for University admission online at CSU Mentor and pay the $55 nonrefundable application fee. Be sure to print the application submission confirmation page for your records. Paper applications are also accepted and may be downloaded from CSU Mentor.
    2. Check with your graduate department to obtain information on how to be admitted to the graduate program of your choice. Be sure to apply also to the graduate department if they have additional requirements. Not all graduate departments require the same documents or tests. Check the Graduate Degree Programs section for individual program information and deadlines.
  • Request official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended to be sent to Cal State East Bay. Final official transcripts, showing degree completion, must be received prior to enrollment in classes. Transcripts will be accepted if mailed directly by the college or university or if hand-carried in their original sealed envelope to Cal State East Bay's Student Information Lobby in Warren Hall on the Hayward Campus, or to the Academic Services Center on the Concord Campus. After you have been admitted you will receive a decision letter indicating you have been admitted to the University.
  • Submit the appropriate graduate department application form and any other supplemental admission requirements that are required by your specific graduate program. Visit Graduate Programs for individual program requirements and where to send documents. You will receive separate notification regarding your admission decision from the graduate department to which you applied.

Document Submission

Please submit all required documents in a timely manner to avoid delay in your admission decision. Official documents, test scores, and transcripts in their original sealed envelope, may be hand-carried to Cal State East Bay's Student Information Lobby in Warren Hall on the Hayward Campus, or to the Academic Services Center on the Concord Campus.

Office of Admission
Warren Hall, First Floor
Cal State East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94542

Application Term of Entry Updates

Cal State East Bay's application for admission applies only to the term of entry indicated on the application form at the time of submission. If you would like to update the term of entry on your application, simply log back into your saved application stored in CSU Mentor, update your desired term of entry, confirm your address and previously attended institutions are still current, and submit the form with your application fee. Cal State East Bay will then notify you upon receipt of your updated application.

Check Your Admission Status

Admission decisions are typically made 8 to 12 weeks after all application materials are received. Even after you are admitted, you still may have outstanding requirements required to complete your application.

Check the status of your application and see a list of your outstanding requirements, through MyCSUEB. Please allow two weeks for the receipt of transcripts and test scores to be recorded.

To access MyCSUEB you will need a NetID and password. All Cal State East Bay applicants receive a personal NetID and activation code in the mail after submitting an application for admission. Included with your NetID are instructions for setting your password using the activation code provided. This NetID is your personal Cal State East Bay identification number, which gives you access to online student self-service systems like MyCSUEB and Horizon student e-mail.

Admissions FAQ

17. How much does it cost to attend CSU, East Bay?

For updated cost of education and living fees, please see

18. How can I apply if I am an International Student?

California State University, East Bay welcomes international students to join our vibrant and diverse campus community. The International Admission Office provides services to applicants from overseas, students in the U.S. on a holding student visa status, as well as any applicant with transcripts from a non-U.S. institution. To contact the International Admission Office, e-mail or call (510) 885-7571.

For admission to California State University, East Bay as an international student, you are required to meet the following conditions:

English Proficiency for Graduate Students

If you are a graduate or post-baccalaureate student and your preparatory education was principally in a language other than English, you must demonstrate proficiency in English with one of the following:

  • An official transcript showing graduation with a bachelor's degree from a U.S. college or university, or an international college or university where English is the principal language of instruction, or an official letter from the college or university certifying that English was the language of instruction.
  • A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 (213 computer-based or 79 Internet-based; 92 for MA Economics) or above.
  • An overall test score from IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam of 6.5 or above for graduate students. A score of 7 or above is required for international students seeking a Masters of Science degree in Economics.

Evidence of Financial Support

If you are in the U.S. with F-1 Non-immigrant status, or wish to enter the U.S. with an F-1 visa, you will need to demonstrate evidence of financial support to cover all the costs associated with your full-time study. Please download the additional documents (see Instructions below) and submit them to the International Admission Office with your application for admission. When students are granted an F-1 visa, it is with the expectation that financial obligations will be met for the entire period of proposed study. Immigration Regulations for F-1 students provide limited opportunity for student employment in the U.S., and legal student status in the United States is dependent in part on the ability to enroll in, pay for, and complete full-time coursework.

International Application Instructions

To apply for admission as an international student, please complete all of the following items. Be sure to submit your application by the appropriate application deadline for the quarter to which you are applying.

Complete an Application

Complete and submit an international application for admission online at CSU Mentor and pay the $55 nonrefundable application fee. Be sure to print the application submission confirmation page for your records.

Submit Transcripts

Request official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended. If you have fewer than 60 semester (90 quarter) units, transcripts from your secondary school are required as well. Transcripts should be submitted in both your native language and in English. Transcripts will be accepted if mailed directly by the institution or if hand-carried in their original sealed envelope to Cal State East Bay's International Admission Office in the Student Services Hub on the Hayward Campus.

Complete Other Required Forms

If you plan to be an F-1 student, or need to enter the U.S. on a student visa, you will need to submit the following additional documents to the International Admission Office:
Declaration of Finances
Health Insurance Compliance
I-20 Letter of Consent

The International Admission Office will review your complete application and contact you regarding the status of your admission decision.

Mail or hand-deliver your documents to:
International Admission Office
California State University, East Bay
Student Services Hub, Room 1336
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94542

Phone: (510) 885-7571
FAX: (510) 885-2325

For more information about becoming a student at Cal State East Bay see the Center for International Education Web site.

Types of Academic Records

Transcripts, certificates, diplomas, mark sheets, and test scores must be sent directly from the issuing institution to the Office of Admission to be considered official. The University reserves the right to determine what constitutes an official document. Certified English translations must accompany all non-English original documents.

18. Where can I find application submission deadlines for each quarter?

Application deadlines

20.    I still have more questions…


Please contact the graduate coordinator, Dr. Christianson, Graduate admissions, the International Admissions, or the Math/Computer Science Department.

  • Print This Page
  • Bookmark and Share